In this novel, Jennifer, a widow and mother of a young daughter, is on the verge of suicide. While she‚Äôs out buying pills to end her life, she meets her angel, Henry, and he shares his story of grief with her. The novel switches between Jennifer‚Äôs personal perspective and Henry‚Äôs story to show how events in their lives are parallel.
This was a touching and moving novel. The characters were extremely well developed, which made it very easy, yet emotionally difficult, to relate with their life events. Maughan‚Äôs descriptions are incredibly realistic and accurately portray emotions that surround depression and the grieving process. This book really delved deep into human emotions in an intense and powerful way.
One distracting point of the novel for me from a design standpoint was the italicized text used for Henry‚Äôs narrations. The italics weren‚Äôt necessary because it was obvious that they were switching back to his character and it made these sections more difficult to read. However, this is just a minor complaint about the book.
I would definitely recommend this book, especially if you have dealt with grief or depression before. While the book is a tear jerker, it teaches an invaluable lesson about reaching out to and uplifting friends or acquaintances when you see them going through difficult times. Jennifer was lucky to have two people in her life, Henry and her mother-in-law, who shared their stories of grief and how they overcame the depression in order to encourage her and show her a new alternative for coping with grief.